Radinovich to run in open Cuyuna Range House seat

In my detailed discussion of northeastern Minnesota legislative redistricting last week I did not talk about the new Senate District 10 and House 10A and 10B races. This is the Brainerd Lakes/Cuyuna Range district. House 10B is now an open seat including all of Aitkin County and most of Crow Wing County. Today, the first DFL candidate announced for that seat, Joe Radinovich of Crosby. According to the Brainerd Dispatch story, Radinovich, 25, is a DFL party organizer and local youth coach and mentor.

We had a bit of a discussion on this seat below the previous post. I wasn’t familiar enough with the terrain to say then what was going on. I can say that Aitkin County leans GOP, as it delivered the margin of victory for Rep. Carolyn McElfatrick (R-Deer River) in her 2010 upset of a longtime DFL incumbent. Crow Wing leans DFL is kind of a toss-up. This is, by my estimate, a swing district, though Crosby and Ironton (the old Cuyuna Iron Range) remain solidly DFL and this whole thing could end a bit of a wild card in a presidential year. Much will depend upon the candidates in this case. Does anybody know who else might run here for either party?

Rep. John Ward (DFL-Brainerd) has a competitive race in the 10A seat and Sen. Paul Gazelka (R-Brainerd) will also face a tough challenge. These woods and waters districts in northern Minnesota are really set up competitively. These areas feature unique constituencies and a great deal of class divide, spurred in part by a large number of retirees and seasonal residents.

UPDATE: Reader David Gray has informed me of some GOP activity in these races. David Pundt is running for the GOP nomination in 10B. Kurt Martin and perhaps another candidate are expected to run in 10A. I’ve also revised my description of the district per his feedback, as he has a better read on that area than I do.

UPDATE 2: Gazelka announced yesterday he’s moving to the new District 9 to run for Senate re-election, leaving an open seat in SD10. Former GOP Sen. Carrie Ruud is expected to run for this seat. No DFLer has yet announced for that seat, though Rep. John Ward is rumored to be considering it. Perhaps a Brainerd area correspondent would like to help this blog’s woeful attempts to cover that area.


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  2. I should also note there are two declared Republican candidates for 10A. Kurt Martin is one candidate and a woman whose name escapes me declared at the Crow Wing County Republican Convention but I don’t think the Brainerd Dispatch has covered her announcement yet.

  3. I’d also add, for folks who are curious, the Minnesota Secretary of State website is a wealth of info. It has returns down to the precinct level going back several election cycles.

  4. Funny how Gazelka gave no indicator he was considering that last Saturday. Three days later he’s gone. His new district is more Republican that SD 10 though. If you want help covering around here let me know.

  5. Okay the Crosby Courier had the official announcement of the Ruud candidacy for SD 10 today.

  6. The other Republican candidate for 10A is Chris Kellett, a local business owner. Both she and Kurt Martin have committed to abiding by the endorsement of the Republican Party.

  7. Hey, thanks for all these updates, David. I could use some boots on the ground down there because my knowledge level isn’t where it should be to write about it. I’ll put an update together with some of this information. Thanks again!

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